Bihar: “My son is crying,” says mother as 8-year-old Muslim kid remains in custody

The Muslim boy’s mother who alleged that Bihar police are demanding money to release him, said that the news of arrest was shocking. Photo: Meezan Media

An 8-year-old Muslim boy who was arrested by Bihar police on 8 September following anti-Muslim riots that broke out in Siwan, has not been released yet.

Reports say that the boy was sent to the city’s Bal Sudhar Grih.

The minor was arrested four days ago along with his 70-year-old ailing grandfather who reportedly underwent two surgeries recently.

The boy’s mother who alleged that Bihar police are demanding money to release him said that the news of the arrest was shocking.

“My son along with his grandfather went to offer namaz and on the way police picked them. It was after the violence irrupted. We were not aware about this and it was only at 11 pm we get to know that both were in police custody,” the boy’s mother said to Meezan Media.

“The cops did not allow me to have a conversation with my child,” she said.

“I visit them again after the court officials told me to bring proof IDs of my child there. I met my boy and he started crying and asked me when he can go back home,” she said.

“Cops demanded 12000 rupees to release my son. From where do I arrange this huge amount of money? We are poor and we cannot afford this,” she added.

AIMIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi lashed Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar over the boy’s arrest.

During the violence, hundreds of armed Hindu men were caught on camera shouting Islamophobic slogans and playing obscene songs. The provocation led to a confrontation between the two groups. However, Muslims in the region suffered disproportionately.

The Siwan Police have lodged a First Information Report against 35 people – 25 Muslims and 10 Hindus and arrested 20 people in connection with the incident. Police arrested Muslim men gathered for evening prayer from a local mosque, including the boy and his 70-year-old grandfather Mohammad Yasin.

The FIR accessed by Maktoob book them under Indian Penal Code sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting with a deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 188 (disobedience to order), 296 (disturbing religious assembly), 337 (causing hurt), 338 (causing grievous hurt), 435 (mischief with intent of damage), 427 (mischief with substance), 505 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 307 (attempt to murder), 353 (assault, use of criminal force) and section 120B (party to criminal conspiracy).

Shafia Shaan, an editorial intern with Maktoob compiled the report.